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Teacher Newsmagazine Volume 17, Number 5, March 2005

One teacher’s wish list

by Jennie Boulanger

Each September brings new students and new challenges. That’s part of what keeps me in teaching and loving it. I’m learning more each day and that’s good for everyone: my students and me.

But, I wish for some things.

  • I wish my school had a teacher aide to help me with the clerical jobs I now must do. Our district cut our teacher aide to save money.
  • I wish my school had a photocopier that didn’t break down on a regular basis. It’s old and would prefer to be handled by only a few, trained people, like a teacher aide and a secretary, not a myriad of staff rushing off to their classes. Our district can’t afford new copiers for all of the schools that need them.
  • I wish I had more time to plan and prepare better lessons, rather than be rushed out of the school because the building is being locked up earlier than ever before. Our district can’t afford to have custodians for as many hours as before.
  • I wish I had maps and atlases that don’t have U.S.S.R. still on them, and DO have Nunavit and Iqualuit on them. Our district can’t afford to update all our resources in a timely fashion any more.
  • I wish that my students had adequate access to educational assistants, a counsellor, ESL teachers, learning assistance teachers, a teacher-librarian, and a gifted-program teacher. Our district can no longer afford to provide those services to students.
  • I wish that my school had more new library books. Our district can’t afford to allocate as much money toward purchasing library books any more.

My wish list grows longer, but wishing is not enough for my students right now. The parents, the (remaining) staff, and I fill in as best we can.

My biggest wish is that I could get rid of the underlying sadness that it’s just not enough. Our kids deserve better.

Jennie Boulanger teaches at Rosser Elementary School, Burnaby.

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